Do not love the world or the things in the world

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Life is a beautiful, precious thing. I think it is fair to say that life is the greatest earthly gift that we have been given (there is probably some logical inconsistency in that statement, since without the gift of life, there would be no other gifts, since we would not be here (but I digress …). Above all else, we tend to cling to life with every fiber of our being. Although we may not be able to fully articulate it, we understand inherently its value. It is priceless, and it is sacred. We do not—for the most part—take it lightly. As we enjoy or celebrate or struggle through this life, there is a great temptation to which it is easy for us to succumb. It is far too simple to get so focused on this life that we begin to place our faith in the temporary. We begin to rely upon that which is going to pass away. We become obsessed with the ways of the “here and now,” and all we think they have to offer. We fall in love with things earthly and worldly. John (above) is clear about this pitfall. He simply says, “Do not do this!” John uses the imperative mood (the voice of command!) to instruct his audience about this danger. In fact, he goes so far as to pit “love of the world” against God’s love. In John’s words, they are wholly incompatible. This morning we continue the series encouraging us to be formed into Christ. Today we will again discuss transformation and what that means. One thing it certainly means is that we must come to realize that this place is not the home for us—our hearts are ultimately to be directed elsewhere.


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